FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Millionaires’ March

The Millionaires March on Tuesday, October 12th began with a very different feeling than the other large events that have occurred in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. The first thing I noticed upon arriving in Grand Army Plaza, on 59th Street and 5th Avenue,  was the swarm of press.  At first there were more press than protesters. They seemed to be interviewing anyone with a sign, competing for the few protesters available. I had heard there would be speakers at noon, the march itself to begin at 12:30 and go on to visit the Park and 5th Avenue homes of various CEOs and hedge fund managers in protest of the December 31st expiration of the New York State 2% “millionaires tax”.

In fact the noon gathering was, indeed, a press conference. This had something to do with some march organizers being professional Democratic political strategists . I don’t mean that as a pejorative, but there was a slickness to the event I was not accustomed to from my trips to Zuccotti Park and the marches in Foley Square and Washington Square Park. And so, as a press conference goes, when the speakers finally began, the cameramen and reporters pushed to the front making it difficult to see and hear and separating the protesters from the very people who should have been getting them fired up. As the march started moving cameramen trying to get shots were walking backwards all through the crowd and people were being pulled to the side for interviews. It was a little hard to get into the spirit of the thing.

Once we got going things started to improve. I couldn’t tell how many were there, maybe a few hundred, but enough to make the intended statement. And with all the press coverage we may as well have been a few thousand. A lot of people seemed to have come by themselves, getting to know each other along the walk. There was a marching band, which always gets people in the mood. The best part was walking up Park Avenue being greeted by the uniformed doormen, one of whom joked,  ”I don’t really work here. This is my Halloween Costume!” Others shut the doors and waited until we passed. Many contractors working in the apartments above us leaned out of windows and waved as we went by.  One woman stuck her head out a window and hurled some curses at us.

The march stopped at the homes, really outside the buildings, of prominent billionaires Rupert Murdoch, David Koch, Howard Milstein, Jamie Dimon and John Paulson, who are in favor of the tax cut. The march organizers left big fake checks, a la Publishers Clearinghouse, made out to the 1% from the 99% in the amount of $5 billion representative of the upcoming tax boon they will receive. I’m sure Paulson is looking forward to it as he found himself in the position of apologizing to investors this week after his main hedge fund lost nearly 50%.

City officials had promised that as long as we stayed out of the street and did not block traffic there would be no problem with the police, and that seemed to be true, though they were out in force. About every five blocks the level of law enforcement increased. At first they were in blue rugby shirts with “Community Outreach” on the back and police patches on the arm, then there were the white shirts, then the navy uniform, then the State Troopers and the always intimidating men in dark suits with earpieces. Police vans for arrestees stood at the ready in case of trouble, but there was none.

All in all it turned out to be a good day on the Upper East Side, if not the most inspiring.

 

More articles by:
June 19, 2018
Ann Robertson - Bill Leumer
We Can Thank Top Union Officials for Trump
Lawrence Davidson
The Republican Party Falls Apart, the Democrats Get Stuck
Sheldon Richman
Trump, North Korea, and Iran
Richard Rubenstein
Trump the (Shakespearean) Fool: a New Look at the Dynamics of Trumpism
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Protect Immigrant Rights; End the Crises That Drive Migration
Gary Leupp
Norway: Just Withdraw From NATO
Kristine Mattis
Nerd Culture, Adultolescence, and the Abdication of Social Priorities
Mike Garrity
The Forest Service Should Not be Above the Law
Colin Todhunter
Pro-GMO Activism And Smears Masquerade As Journalism: From Seralini To Jairam Ramesh, Aruna Rodrigues Puts The Record Straight
Doug Rawlings
Does the Burns/Novick Vietnam Documentary Deserve an Emmy?
Kenneth Surin
2018 Electioneering in Appalachian Virginia
Nino Pagliccia
Chrystia Freeland Fails to See the Emerging Multipolar World
John Forte
Stuart Hall and Us
June 18, 2018
Paul Street
Denuclearize the United States? An Unthinkable Thought
John Pilger
Bring Julian Assange Home
Conn Hallinan
The Spanish Labyrinth
Patrick Cockburn
Attacking Hodeidah is a Deliberate Act of Cruelty by the Trump Administration
Gary Leupp
Trump Gives Bibi Whatever He Wants
Thomas Knapp
Child Abductions: A Conversation It’s Hard to Believe We’re Even Having
Robert Fisk
I Spoke to Palestinians Who Still Hold the Keys to Homes They Fled Decades Ago – Many are Still Determined to Return
Steve Early
Requiem for a Steelworker: Mon Valley Memories of Oil Can Eddie
Jim Scheff
Protect Our National Forests From an Increase in Logging
Adam Parsons
Reclaiming the UN’s Radical Vision of Global Economic Justice
Dean Baker
Manufacturing Production Falls in May and No One Notices
Laura Flanders
Bottom-Up Wins in Virginia’s Primaries
Binoy Kampmark
The Anguish for Lost Buildings: Embers and Death at the Victoria Park Hotel
Weekend Edition
June 15, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Dan Kovalik
The US & Nicaragua: a Case Study in Historical Amnesia & Blindness
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Yellow Journalism and the New Cold War
Charles Pierson
The Day the US Became an Empire
Jonathan Cook
How the Corporate Media Enslave Us to a World of Illusions
Ajamu Baraka
North Korea Issue is Not De-nuclearization But De-Colonization
Andrew Levine
Midterms Coming: Antinomy Ahead
Louisa Willcox
New Information on 2017 Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Deaths Should Nix Trophy Hunting in Core Habitat
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Singapore Fling
Ron Jacobs
What’s So Bad About Peace, Man?
Robert Hunziker
State of the Climate – It’s Alarming!
L. Michael Hager
Acts and Omissions: The NYT’s Flawed Coverage of the Gaza Protest
Dave Lindorff
However Tenuous and Whatever His Motives, Trump’s Summit Agreement with Kim is Praiseworthy
Robert Fantina
Palestine, the United Nations and the Right of Return
Brian Cloughley
Sabre-Rattling With Russia
Chris Wright
To Be or Not to Be? That’s the Question
David Rosen
Why Do Establishment Feminists Hate Sex Workers?
Victor Grossman
A Key Congress in Leipzig
John Eskow
“It’s All Kinderspiel!” Trump, MSNBC, and the 24/7 Horseshit Roundelay
Paul Buhle
The Russians are Coming!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail